The CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game – which features 40 of the top American-born players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft – will be held this Thursday at 7 p.m. at CONSOL Energy Center.
2013 CCM/USA HOCKEY ALL-AMERICAN PROSPECTS GAME
Shero, Penguins Excited to Host CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game
Team Mullen and Team Johnson Determined
The All-American Prospects Game gives potential draft picks the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of NHL talent evaluators against the best U.S.-born players.
Tickets for the All-American Prospects Game are available at Ticketmaster.com, at all TicketMaster locations, by calling 1-800-745-3000 and at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center.
A pair of former Penguins with USA Hockey ties – three-time Stanley Cup champion Joe Mullen (Team Blue) and 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ Olympic hero Mark Johnson (Team White) – will be behind the bench, with the group of prospects being divided into 20 players per side.
Penguins head coach and USA Olympic coach Dan Bylsma will drop the puck before the game.
Thursday night’s roster includes several skaters and goaltenders who received ‘A’ grades when NHL Central Scouting released its preliminary ‘Ones to Watch’ list on Monday.
Skaters with ‘A’ grades were forwards Chase De Leo of the Portland Winterhawks (Western Hockey League), Blake Clarke of the North Bay Battalion (Ontario Hockey League), the Green Bay Gamblers Nick Schmaltz (United States Hockey League), and a pair from the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP), Dylan Larkin and Sonny Milano.
Two netminders – Alex Nedeljkovic of the Plymouth Whalers (Ontario Hockey League) and Thatcher Demko of Boston College – were rated ‘A’ goaltenders. The other two goaltenders that will see action between the pipes, Edwin Minney and Blake Weyrick of the USNTDP, received ‘B’ ratings.
Additional interesting Top Prospects Game tidbits include:
*Twenty-three players are verbally committed to NCAA programs, while five others have yet to select a school. Demko is the only active NCAA player participating in the game.
*Thirty-three players have developmental roots in the USHL. As the top junior league in the United States, the USHL prepares players for NCAA Division I hockey as well as careers in the NHL.
*Four players have ties to former NHL players/coaches:
Ryan MacInnis – Son of NHL Hall of Famer Al MacInnis (NHL Player)
Nolan Stevens – Son of John Stevens (NHL Player/Coach)
Nick Schmaltz – Brother of Jordan Schmaltz (1st round pick of St. Louis in 2012)
Ryan Mantha – Nephew of Moe Mantha (NHL Player/U.S. NTDP and Pro Coach)
*Demko and defenseman Tony DeAngelo will both be attending the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. later this year in hopes of making the 2014 World Junior Championship squad that will be looking to earn its second-straight gold medal.
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